Marcus Montero never panicked.The Fresno City College sophomore quarterback's interception set up a Sierra touchdown drive that put the Wolverines up 24-20 in the fourth quarter Saturday.
That just left it to Montero to lead a game-winning drive.
Montero directed a seven-play march, capped by a 6-yard touchdown pass to Dakota Gordon with 2:09 remaining, giving the NorCal No. 11-ranked Rams a 27-24 victory over No. 9 Sierra in a Valley Conference opener at Ratcliffe Stadium.
"Line did good and the receivers caught the ball," Montero said with a shrug. "It was a hard game, but it shouldn't have to be a hard game."
"Wow," Rams coach Tony Caviglia said outside the locker room. "We overcame a lot of things in this game. This team has a heart of a champion. Very resilient and a lot of pride. I'm very happy how these kids fought."
Gerald Nutt sealed it with an interception at the Rams 20-yard line with 1:06 remaining.
"Hard-fought game," Nutt said. "Tonight, we persevered with a 'W.' "
The lesson, according to Nutt: "Don't stop fighting. We had our ups and downs, so just keep your head up and don't stop fighting."
Montero finished 19 of 33 for 280 yards and also had a rushing TD.
"He needed to do that," Caviglia said. "He made some tough throws in bad situations and took it upon himself to win the game and he did it."
Modesto 76, Sequoias 32: Teejay Gordon was 31 of 41 for 325 yards and five TDs as the No. 14 Pirates (3-3, 0-1) whipped the fifth-ranked Giants (5-1, 0-1) at the Mineral King Bowl.
Modesto jumped out 16-0 in the first quarter as Gordon found Justice Jordan and Zach Moreno for touchdowns. The Pirates successfully executed 2-point conversions on each of the early TDs.
Modesto put it away in the second quarter, outscoring COS 28-12.
Raul Alvarez was 18 of 38 for 280 yards and three touchdowns, but also threw three interceptions.
Diablo Valley 28, Reedley 0: Adam Wood passed for 310 yards and two TDs as the Vikings (3-4, 1-0) of the Mid-Empire beat the Tigers (1-5, 0-1) of the Golden Gate in a game that counts as a league contest for both teams.
Laney 35, West Hills 13: Valentino Miles rushed for 139 yards and two scores as the Eagles (4-2, 1-0) rolled past the Falcons (1-5, 0-1) in a Golden Gate matchup.
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